Learning to Swear in America – book review

Learning to Swear in America
by Katie Kennedy
Realistic Fiction
* * * * Stars (Great!)

Yuri Strelnikov is a 17-year old boy genius physicist, on loan from Russia, whose research and theories on antimatter are suddenly in demand when an asteroid is sighted hurtling toward Earth. He and a team of scientists are responsible for finding a way to blast it out of existence or, failing that, knock it off course. They only have a few weeks to figure out a solution, and If they can’t, the impact could devastate the entire world. In the midst of that particular chaos, Yuri meets a local girl, Dovie, her brother Lennon, and their family and finds friends and community in a way he’s never had before. And he goes to prom. He also learns that the US government isn’t going to let him go home to Moscow when the project is done. He left his whole life behind in Russia and he doesn’t want to give it up, but there are a number of obstacles he’ll have to overcome IF they survive the asteroid. Yuri is a brilliant but awkward character who knows his way around numbers, but could use some guidance navigating personal relationships. He does his best with sometimes hilarious results. Language is occasionally a barrier, too, since English is not his first tongue. There are some tense moments leading up to the big day (asteroid impact) that make this a fast-paced, suspenseful read. Realistic fiction that hits the spot!

Reviewed by YA Librarian

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